Sunday, June 02, 2013


Continued from "ALTO, TEXAS", a Mothers Day post---

I passed through Tyler, the Rose Capitol of the World, and all the roses in planters for sale at the side of the road. They made me think of all my lost loves.
I guess I've been lucky.
I bought a small rose for planting, for momma.  It wont  live, it wont last long down there, but I wanted to do it just the same.

Apparently Tyler is also the Psychic Capitol of the world too. I must have passed 10 places I could go  inside and have my cards read, my fortune told. I wondered what interesting things they might say. I wondered whose face these psychics could conjure when they looked into my eyes, if Madame Cassandra might know where she is, if she could see us naked in her minds eye, if she would know.

If she would know.

It made me think about “The Wizard of OZ” and how Dorothy had run away from home and happened upon  Professor Marvel.  He invites her into his trailer and is going to read her fortune. He has her close her eyes,  in order to be “better in tune with the infinite".
He says " We cant do these things without reaching into the infinite”

And while her eyes are closed he reaches into her purse, and finds the picture of Auntie Em. He tells Dorothy that somewhere there is a woman who is worried, with a broken heart, because she has lost something.  Professor Marvel  may be a shyster and a hustler, but he is a very kind man, smart too, and is just trying to do the right thing like any good psychic in tune with the infinite might. And Dorothy realizes he is talking about her Aunt Emily, and takes Toto and runs home to Auntie Em.
Anyway, this was my day dream as I left Tyler, still not knowing what the future might bring. Us humans, we always want to skip to the end of the story, but it just doesn’t work that way. We have to go along, a day at time, a breath at a time, a pain at a time.

And the psychics and rose dealers do it that way too.

I got to Alto where I found a man mowing in front of what had been  Aunt  Verda’s  house.  He said that Mary and Junior were living in Mama’s old property, and that their sons were living across the street now.  I had not expected to find kin there, but I did, 2nd and 3rd cousins.  I took a picture of an old shed that a cousin and I had thrown every potato from good-sized stack of new potatoes at, watching them splat against the wood, delighted. It almost killed Uncle Carroll to see what we had done with his hard work, and Uncle Jack was liable to have killed us if it weren’t for Aunt Laura.

Walking up to the house, I passed where  the root cellar had been. There was no longer a trace. I passed a giant pecan, and there was a big hunk of metal grown into the bark, and I wondered how long it had been there, and which of us cousins might have done the tree this injustice. I put my hand on it, and it felt good to touch this tree that had overseen many a summer day of my youth. In fact it felt kind of like reaching into the infinite, as though the vibrations of every conversation at the family place might be in the vibration of old pecans memory, like the way traces of every meal lay in the metal of a cast iron skillet..

I stepped to the back porch, and my 90 year old cousin Mary came to the door. She had seen me coming up .We recognized each other instantly and we both held each other and I just cried and cried and cried. She said she had been thinking of me just that morning. We sat and looked at pictures for an hour, and then something interesting happened .  Her son came in, a third cousin I had never met. He is only a few years older than I but somehow we never crossed paths.

He sat down after introductions. We told a few stories back and forth and then he had a question for me.  It was one of those questions it takes five minutes to ask and boiled down to this:

“Have you secured eternal life by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

I told him that I had not, that I was a recovering drug addict, and had only recently learned to pray again, and that I was growing closer to a god of my understanding through prayers and meditation, and I was very grateful to God for helping me stay clean, but  that I would leave eternity to my God, and just try to follow my program.

Of course, he doesn’t recognize a god of my understanding, my understanding having failed me most of my life, and I get that point. It didn’t turn into a religious argument, and I’m glad my program has helped me to be tolerant of other peoples views. I assured him that many addicts do find a deeper faith outside of the program, and that I would remain open-minded as my program has taught me to try to be. We closed with a prayer and then the next interesting thing happened.

As we stood up, I took his hand, and I leaned in to hug him. I was surprised to find that this man, full of Jesus love, my third cousin, took a step back in order not to receive my hug. All Gods Childrens is different I guess.

Then  I went for the real reason I was there. I stood next to mom and dad at their grave, and for the first time in forty years I stood next to them clean and sober, involved in a spiritual program that shapes my life as best as I will let it, keeps me striving not so much for eternal salvation, but just to have the strength and courage to do the next right thing one day at a time, and it felt good. It just sure felt good.
I think mom and dad would like that very much.

Me,   I’ll have to leave the infinite for my God and the psychics.

Oh, for those of you who read Part One....yes, Kevins rustic handmade horse training pen is still there, fashioned to gether from 1000 saplings and held together with baling wire, god knows what and Kevins cowboy spirit.
It is a sight to behold. The picture does not do it justice.


flask said...

hey, hi.

i don;t have a lot to say besides i am still out here, and i am reading.

i thought of you yesterday for no reason while i was riding my bike and i hoped you were/are well.

bulletholes said...

Hanging in there Flask! Not much to read here lately, but maybe june will see me back in a writing mode.
Thanks for stopping by!